Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

This week, Richard added his support to a campaign aimed at tackling the taboo that can be associated with mental health.

Ben Salmons launched the Break the Stigma initiative last year to raise awareness and tackle common misconceptions surrounding mental health. He is now employed by the East London NHS Foundation Trust so he can continue his work across Bedfordshire.

Richard said:
“I had a thought provoking meeting with Ben about his campaign to be open and Break the Stigma regarding mental health. He is a great young man thoroughly committed to this important cause and I was happy to provide a personal message about the importance of talking about mental health.”

Richard’s Break the Stigma message read, ‘If we broke an arm or a leg we would ‘talk’ about it, so let’s ‘talk’ about our metal health – put it in the conversation.’

Visit the campaign’s facebook page for more information.

5 Responses to Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health

  • I would like to speak to you at some point about the quality and effectiveness of mental health provision in Bedford. My parents now dead and myself have had a long and varied history with Weller Wing.

  • I am pleased to hear that Richard has signed up for the “Break the Stigma” iniative. I had a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt in 1990, due to pressure from the breakdown of my marriage and also trying to cope with my late mother’ s depression. I was not feeling depressed at the time,- the suicide attempt was to escape the extreme pressure that I was under, – I had no support from friends or family through this.
    You always think that you can cope, until events overtake you. At the time, it was almost as though my brain closed down under pressure and the flight response took over, and I ended up in Derby on 22/8/1990 attempting suicide with a knife. I should not be alive today, as the knife went right the way through me missing every internal organ. I was playing competitive squash at the time, so being very fit, I survived the ordeal. If someone had told me that I was going to have a nervous breakdown before the event I would of laughed in their face. So given the right set of circumstances, it can happen to anyone.
    I returned to work at DWP after the breakdown, and am still employed 26 years later at DWP, but I do not cope very well with stress, so I try and keep my stress levels as low as possible. I find that I go through a tearful time every August which is the anniversary of my suicide attempt and all the memories come flooding back. I have scars on my body which are a continual reminder of my suicide attempt.
    I exercise on a daily basis, which helps cope with stress.
    Having a nervous breakdown does not affect your IQ, – I sat the Mensa exam in London in 1980 before my breakdown and got 96% (you need 98% to get into mensa); I sat another Mensa test in London in 1995, after the breakdown and achieved the same score of 96%.
    It was interesting to read that Alistair Campbell (former Labour Party aide) suffers from depression from time to time and is ambassador for “The Time to Change” mental health campaign.
    I hope this may be of help. If you need me to take part in any research, I would be willing to participate, Sandra Wrench, Kempston

  • There is still a very long way to go in improving the treatment of mental health problems. This is an important issue that needs greater funding.

  • Well done, Richard, this is first rate. If you need my help just ask.

  • I commend Ben Salmon for his efforts and Richard for holding up a placard that is after all what politicians are supposed to do! But seriously I commend you both for the above. And if I ever had my say on both issues you’d never believe what I’de have to say but neither will happen and I’ll go to the not grave knowing that. I’d like to say that the Russians may have been showing their force today but some some us still play the old game the English or Irish never quite give up !

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